Saudi Arabia not confirming Trump's 2M barrels


But in a statement Saturday evening, the White House said King Salman bin Abdulaziz affirmed that Saudi Arabia has two million barrels a day of spare production capacity "which it will prudently use if and when necessary to ensure market balance and stability, and in coordination with its producer partners, to respond to any eventuality".

Trump said on Twitter that King Salman agreed to the request, but a state-run press agency in Saudi Arabia didn't confirm the two leaders reached any agreement.

With this move, the Trump administration has increased pressure on allies to stop funding to Iran.

Trump had blamed the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) for keeping oil prices high in the past while he was a businessman, and has recently reiterated his criticism against the cartel. A gallon of regular gasoline sold on average in the U.S. for United States dollars 2.85, up from Dollars 2.23 a gallon past year, according to AAA. The cartel, which had curtailed production in 2016, also said it would boost output more later in the year to offset limits on Iranian oil sales resulting from the re-imposition of US sanctions on Iran.

Trump earlier on the basis of conversations with Salman announced that the king promised him to increase daily oil production by 2 million barrels.

The statement reported by Saudi media did not mention any intention by Saudi Arabia to raise production by 2 million barrels per day.

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The Trump administration is pushing countries to cut all imports of Iranian oil from November when the United States re-imposes sanctions against Tehran, after Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal agreed between Iran and six major powers, against the advice of allies in Europe and elsewhere. "He has agreed! (sic)", Trump tweeted. That would be roughly 1 million barrels per day of crude oil output increase according to OPEC officials.

Khalid Al Falih, Saudi Arabia's energy minister, stated that the new agreement implies an output increase of one million barrels per day, while other OPEC members indicated an increase of 500,000 to 800,000 bpd. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih indicated the group's action would add almost one million barrels a day to the market.

The price of Brent, the global benchmark hit $US79.23 on Friday at the close, up more than 2% on the day.

The impact of rising gas prices in offsetting the pocketbook benefits of the tax cuts approved by Congress in December could dampen public enthusiasm over the economy ahead of the midterm elections.

Non-Opec member Russian Federation on June 23 also backed the effort, capping a week of tense diplomacy for the grouping that averted a damaging rift between arch foes Iran and Saudi Arabia. The kingdom pumped slightly more than 10 million barrels a day in May. Trump ordered the re-imposition of USA sanctions against Iran that were suspended under the accord.

Iran had been pushing hard for oil producers to hold output steady as US sanctions are expected to hit its exports.